Doorbells: Dreaming for the Future Live Performance 2018-2020
My home, my castle, my container, my prison? How do we imagine the future of where and how we live? Who will we live with? What can we afford? What will our lives look like and how will we manage?
This sensitive, humorous and moving performance, with original songs and live soundscapes, explores; In today's world of supposedly connected social media, how do we cope behind our doorbells?
A 55-minute production followed by a post-show conversation aimed at stimulating conversations about the decisions we make about how and where we live as we grow older.
The performance was commissioned work to provoke debate on the 'location' choices individuals and their families need to face as they grow older.
"What a performance! Your character Kathleen, I wanted to hug her and kick her; I wanted to shake her and share tea with her. She was so immediate and believable... I love the bookworm thread culminating in using books to weigh up to good/bad, about moving/not moving; chasing the 'living aborad' dream/staying put; moving to all mod cons retirement complex/having no surplus cash to enjoy the facilities etc... and so much more." Dr Cathy Bailey, Northumbria University
"The writing was well researched and finely nuanced as a performance piece...CIaire as a performer was able to portray intelligently the tensions between independence and loneliness, family commitments and making new friendships!
The commissioners should be very satisfied with the outcome!" Mark Mulqueen, Programme Director for Well Newcastle Gateshead.
"It was clear to me that it had touched people in the room in ways they didn't think the subject could. A captivating performance and the story, which I loved." Northern Echo, 2015
“Very thought-provoking and useful – entertaining as well – beautifully performed. Appreciated the hospitality and the time to discuss the issues within a small group. A very valuable evening. Thank you.” Audience Member
“I enjoyed the show enormously and found myself increasingly engaged by the story which was very well told – I enjoyed the variety of skills – music, song, text, physicality, solo / joint imagery and so on.” Audience Member
Cathy Bailey, Associate professor in Ageing at Northumbria University, who supported the research that directly inspired the content for Doorbells, said: "The recent housing for older people report" suggests that we need to age proof' new homes. We also need to 'age proof' ourselves and society. There is still much to do, to get us all planning for later life across the life course and to change ageist attitudes broadly. We need a national conversation and consultation with people of all ages and from all backgrounds, to consider how we may plan for our future lives."
Maureen Tinsley, Chair, Elders Council Newcastle. said: "We know that some of us end up in housing which is longer suited to our needs at a time When we no longer have the energy to make the change. This becomes so much more difficult for those of us who do not have children close by to help us through the process. By having conversations, we start to think through the decisions we might make and to seek the practical help and support to enable us to follow them through. 'Doorbells' is Our way of starting the conversation."
The performance is a revised version of an earlier project called Doorbells of Delight, which was originally performed at Alphabetti Theatre, Queens Hall Hexham and Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015.